Actus Reus key cases medical intervention and causation
Soldier stabbed another soldier. V’s medical treatment very poor and affected chances of recovery.
D liable if the injuries he caused are still an operating and substantial cause.
D shot V. V needed a tracheotomy. V died cause of complications from tracheotomy. His wounds were virtually healed.
Medical treatment would only break the chain in causation if it is so independent of D’s acts and in itself so potent in causing death
V was stabbed. When his wounds were almost healed he was given a large dose of a drug to which it was known he was allergic.
The chain of causation was broken in this case.
D stabbed his wife. She was put on a life support machine tests showed she was brain dead, the machine was switched off.
Switching of life support machine does not break the chain in causation
Case chart on foresight of consequences
D shot stepfather in quick on the draw incident
Foresight of consequences is not intention, it is evidence of intention.
Hancock and Shankland 1986
Miner dropped blocks of concrete onto road, killing taxi driver
The greater the probability of a consequence, the more likely it is that a consequence was foreseen and that if the consequence was foreseen the greater the probability is that the consequence was also intended.
Poured paraffin through letterbox causing fire to the house in which a child died
Jury not entitled to infer the necessary intention unless sure that serious death or serious bodily harm was a virtual certainty and D appreciated this.
Threw baby at pram causing his death
The direction in Nedrick should not use the word infer instead, the jury should be told that they are entitled to find intention
Re A 2000
Doctors wanted to operate on conjoined twins but knew this would cause one to die.
Court thought that Woollin made it law that foresight of consequences is intention
Matthews and allyne 2003
Threw V into river where he drowned
Woollin meant that foresight of consequences is not intention. It is a rule of evidence. If a jury decides that the defendant foresaw the virtual certainty of death or serious injury then they are entitled to find intention but they do not have to do so.
Key facts chart for murder
The unlawful killing of a reasonable person in being. Under the queen’s peace, with malice aforethought express or implied.
Lord coke 17th century
Must unlawfully kill under the queen’s peace.
Can be an act or omission.
A foetus is not considered a person for the purpose of mother.
A killing is not unlawful if it self-defence, defence of another or prevention of crime and the use of force is reasonable in the circumstances.
Gibbens and proctor…